Tuesday, September 27, 2011
You may remember back in May, I broke the story of John and Judy Dollarhite. They are facing up to $4 million in fines from the USDA because they tried to teach their young son the value of a dollar and some responsibility. Well that got the USDA's attention when Silver Dollar City asked to purchase some of their rabbits for their petting zoo at the popular theme park in Branson, Missouri.
The Dollarhites asked me to break the story, and I ensured it would go viral by contacting my friend and Andrew Breitbart contributor Bob McCarty. Thanks to Bob, the story hit the EIB airwaves twice. Now it's getting even more life as the USDA, who is asking for jurisdiction in the matter that it simply doesn't have thanks to the limits of government our Constitution provides, refuses to back down.
John and Judy Dollarhite posted on Facebook they have been invited by Senator Rand Paul, one of the few good guys in Congress, to testify about Americans who have been wronged by government. John and Judy posted on Facebook:
BIG NEWS ----- We have been ask by Rand Paul's Office ( Senator of Kentucky ) to come to D.C. next month, and others that have been wronged by Government Regulations.
More info to follow.......
Once again, we have to ask where is Congressman Billy Long on this matter? After weeks of ignoring big government trampling on one of his constituents, Long's office wrote a letter to the USDA but hasn't done much more. To this day, Congressman Long hasn't even personally contacted the Dollarhites. (Something tells me Long will ride the coattails of Senator Paul's invite though.)
In the grand scheme of things, seeing how Billy Long quickly turned his back on the Tea Party, his constituents, and the Constitution for the establishment, I would much rather have Senator Rand Paul on my side than bloated Billy.
Congrats to the Dollarhites. Even though I know they would rather this go away, being contacted by Rand Paul's office and receiving this invite from one of the only true Constitutional members of the Senate is a great honor.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets enough support, the Obama Administration will issue an official response.
You can view and sign the petition here: http://wh.gov/gun
Here's some more information about this petition:
America’s foundational principles of national sovereignty, natural law and inalienable rights are at odds with and not taught in the IBO programs. IBO explicitly states that its programs do not follow the political system of any particular nation, including the United States of America. Remove IBO programs Now!
Leave UNESCO Now!
Friday, September 23, 2011
|My battle buddy, Brian Such|
|Drill Sgt. Danny Holman|
|Drill Sgt. Gary Kirkland, Samuel Wilson, and Danny Holman|
The Valley Education Corporation in Yellow Springs, Colo., is making a big splash in educational circles. This multi million-dollar enterprise is starting K-12 charter schools throughout the U.S. The cost for this program is expensive, although the company is receiving high marks for the staff's credentials and international awareness.
The program focuses on global educational standards and curriculum in order to develop global citizens. They emphasize the United Nations worldview, which has primary importance over any state educational standards. By making state standards subservient to the U.N. ideology, students will realize they are not citizens of a single country, like the United States, but citizens of a coming one-world government.
This international awareness will prepare them to be "comrades" to create a peaceful, equitable redistribution of wealth and save the earth resources from capitalist exploitation.
There is a strong commitment to all human rights, which take precedence over any nation's laws. Educational values are inculcated by integrating them into the subject areas. Students learn about the antiquated notions of the U.S. Constitution, judicial system and unnecessary borders of the U.S. All national treaties and laws including those deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States would and should be subservient to those policies to those passed by the United Nations.
"Valley Ed. Corp." is fictitious but the curriculum discussed above is not. This curriculum has been marketed in public schools as the "be all and end all" of high school diplomas: the International Baccalaureate Program. It has provoked controversy in many of the school districts that have adopted the program. Through taxpayer dollars our federal government is sanctioning the IB program although it is a direct attack on our Constitution and our laws.
Article 6, clause 2 in the Constitution of the United States unequivocally states the Constitution is the lynchpin of all of our laws of the land. "This Constitution and laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the Unites States, shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
European diplomats started the International Baccalaureate Organization, IBO, in 1968. These diplomats wanted a uniform education for their children in whatever nation they were assigned. However, in 1996 IBO unfortunately united with UNESCO, part of the United Nations. They formed an international education program that is dominated by a One-World-Government view. The U.N.'s radical leftist perspective of the world and its reputation for mismanaging its funding is a dubious organization to place above the leader of the free world.
Yet, the International Baccalaureate, IB Program, is being adopted by school districts throughout the U.S. This course of study exists in 139 countries worldwide.
The goal of the International Baccalaureate Organization is to impose global education standards and curriculum. This course of study is to produce global citizens, not citizens of America who are loyal to the principles of our founding documents: the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
All students in the program are indoctrinated with the virtues of the United Nation's treaties even though the United States has not ratified them. By endorsing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the IB program has agreed to promote the U.N.'s actions and treaties.
Such treaties include: the UN International Court Treaty, which would nullify the Supreme Court of the United States; the Bio Diversity program to redistribute financial aid from developed countries to underdeveloped countries while supposedly preserving genetic resources; the Rights of Children Treaty, which strips many prerogatives from parents in raising their children; the Kyoto Treaty, whose focus is to reduce global warming by lowering carbon dioxide emissions in developed countries; and any other treaty approved by the UN. In reality, these treaties will end the sovereignty of America.
Our children in an IB program are being taught to see the world through the lens of the United Nations with a Marxist tint. The IB program is instilling moral values and ideals that are undermining our student's positive attitudes and beliefs towards the United States.
The IB program is contrary to the interests of the United States. It is indoctrination under the guise of education. All American citizens should be alerted to the purpose of this program so our government officials can be held accountable. The IB program could continue in private schools as a program for children of diplomats or other families who agree with the utopian failures of the United Nations.
Our government has a vested interest in promoting programs where students are being taught the goodness, uniqueness and advantages of being an American citizen. Instead of being proud of our special heritage these students are being propagandized to despise their own country.
Under no circumstances should the IB program receive a single tax dollar.
Dr. Domenick J. Maglio is the author of "Invasion Within" and "Essential Parenting." He is a psychotherapist and the owner/director of Wider Horizons School. Visit: www.drmaglio.com.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
On September 25th, 1804 Amendment XII supplanted Paragraph 3, Section I, Article II. A portion of the Amendment is a repetition of Paragraph 3. One important difference between the amendment and the provision in the original Constitution which it supplanted is that this amendment provides that electors:
shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President;whereas, in the original provision, electors voted for two persons without designation, and the person having the greatest number of votes became President; the one receiving the next highest number of votes became Vice-President.
Amendment XII opened the door for the two party systems. It is difficult to formulate the best and most effective method of applying the usefulness of political parties to the best interests of the Republic.
It is a puzzling question to determine whether there should be two permanent political parties or whether the welfare of the Republic requires that a new political party must be born periodically to meet a crisis and advocate a clear, clean-cut issue. This much however is certain. The motto of any political party worthy of continuance should be: A political party can afford to lose if it deserves to win, better than the party can afford to win if it deserves to loose. This attitude was characteristic of Alexander Hamilton in the early days of the Republic, and of Daniel Webster in later years. It was the position taken by Abraham Lincoln in 1858 and by William McKinley in 1892; and they and their party finally triumphed and rendered great service to the republic.
Experience has shown that the tendency of political parties, as they advance in years, has been to try to survive on the weaknesses of other parties, instead of striving to live on their own strength. Managers of political parties have become cowardly opportunists instead of leaders with real convictions and demagogues rather than statesmen.
The leaders of our political party’s today give too much time and thought to the question, How can we win? And too little to the question, How can we serve the Republic? In the selection of candidates the leaders have considered too much the question, Will the candidate take orders? And too little the question, Is the candidate well qualified? The leaders have been guided in their selection of candidates too much by the question; can the candidate be used? And to little by the question, For what does the candidate stand?
Candidates who are strongest on promise are generally the weakest on performance. Candidates with the longest platforms of ism and class appeal are generally the shortest on achievement for the public good.
The purpose of a political party should be to succeed by giving people what they need rather than by trying to give the people what they think they want. A political party should be a molder of public sentiment, not an echo of popular fallacies.
Americans need to develop a civic consciousness that will make them a constructive force for stemming the tide of radicalism and shielding this Republic from the dangers of democracy. The founders of this Republic, after a careful survey of the governments of history, concluded that autocracy resulted in tyranny and democracy merged into mobocracy, and they strove to avoid the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy by establishing the golden mean and founding a republic! The term’s “republic” and “democracy” are thoughtlessly and inaccurately used almost synonymously in dictionaries, in encyclopedias and in political literature and discussion. This country is frequently spoken of as a democracy, and yet the men who established our government made a very marked distinction between a republic and a democracy, gave clear definitions of each term, and said repeatedly and emphatically that they had founded a republic. Surely no one has more valid authority to use governmental terms, or to make definitions of those terms, than the men who evolved the best form of government the world has ever known.
There should be at least one political party in this country that believes in the Constitution, and that will be guided by its wise provisions. A political party that believes in the Republic as the best form of government the world has ever known and that will adhere strictly and literally to it. Can some political party now in existence throw off its weaknesses and infections and rise to the occasion, or will a new party spring forth to meet the situation? One thing is for sure, this Republic can not continue to survive with current political parties not being guided completely by the provisions of the Constitution!
Why Sarah Steelman Clearly isn't a Tea Party Candidate: Social Security and Medicare Aren't Constitutional
As Dr. John Lily, who heads the Young Conservatives, a southwest Missouri grassroots movement, prepares to award Steelman with an award from the organization, I scratch my head asking this obvious question. Sarah Steelman--CONSERVATIVE? Let me give you another reason why she isn't, and let this be something the Tea Party takes note of, because Steelman's recent comments on Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare shows just how out of touch Steelman is with the founder's vision of limited federal government, especially when you consider programs that came out of Roosevelt's New Deal and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society have paved the way for Obamacare.
When asked about Obamacare, Medicare, and Social Security, Steelman made the following statement:
"I believe Medicare and Social Security to be constitutional. And I believe very strongly that Obamacare is unconstitutional. I will not vote or support anything unconstitutional," Steelman said in a statement.
In other words, Steelman believes the Federal Government should provide healthcare and a retirement plan despite her claim she is a conservative and for limited government. Yet, our Constitution gives any member of Congress any authority to provide these programs, whether it be Obamacare or Medicare, that continue to break the Treasury. In other words, Steelman must have adopted Claire McCaskill's definition of the General Welfare clause in order to pander to voters. Shame on you Ms. Steelman. The Young Conservatives should cancel your award presentation at once with your support of big government.
Like so many other power-hungry idiots that desire to get to Washington, Steelman has obviously not paid much attention to Federalist #41, which just so happens defines the General Welfare clause. James Madison didn't write about Great Society social welfare programs or New Deal retirement programs when he reported back to his colony what was taking place as the Founding Fathers were drafting a Constitution to create this great Republic. Rather, he explains the General Welfare as coming down to some basic ideas that eventually give Congress 18 limited powers, which you can examine for yourself by turning your pocket Constitution to Article One Section Eight.
James Madison gave six provisions which defines the General Welfare which eventually became the basis for the 18 enumerated powers. Madison writes:
1. Security against foreign danger.
2. Regulation of the intercourse with foreign nations.
3. Maintenance of harmony and proper intercourse among the States.
4. Certain miscellaneous objects of general utility.
5. Restraint of the States from certain injurious acts.
6. Provisions for giving due efficacy to all these powers.
No where in these six provisions is the idea the federal government is allowed to confiscate money from its people in order to create federal medical or retirement entitlements. In other words, Sarah Steelman is wrong, which too means she is clueless as to what the true Tea Party stands for. The federal government doesn't have the authority to confiscate money from its people to provide socialized medicine and socialized retirement plans approved by both presidential dolts Roosevelt and Johnson. Of course it doesn't have the authority to force its people to engage in commerce to increase the federal presence in medical care.
The very fact Steelman claims Social Security and Medicare is Constitutional shows she is as clueless as she obviously appears in the above video as to who gets the sweater in a free trade discussion.
Tea Party beware. Sarah Steelman isn't one of us. If Steelman makes a successful bid, it will be hard to defeat Obamacare based on her illogical thinking. If the government has the right to provide Social Security and Medicare as Steelman believes, then why doesn't it have the right to provide Obamacare too. The IRS's gun will be pointed at you confiscating your money in all three scenarios, the only difference is how your money is confiscated.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This article caught my attention and I just had to respond. Words are important and when you start combining words such as representative (the republican form of government) and democracy (direct action by the people) you come up with something tantamount to comparing sobriety to drunkenness. This is doing severe damage to the works of our founding fathers and negating the Constitution. Of course that has been the plan since the end of the nineteenth century. Our education system continues the charade!
One of the outstanding features and chief merits of our Federal Constitution is that it provides for a strictly representative form of national government and in Article IV, Section 4, guarantees a representative form of government to each of the States.
A Republic is the standard form of government adopted by the Constitution for the nation and for the States. This is a fundamental fact, which is too frequently overlooked, resulting in much confusion.
There are just three basic forms of government. An autocracy is a form of government in which a monarch derives power through heredity and permits too little participation by the people, with a final result or reaction against tyranny. It creates the kind of condition in the world of government that would be created in the field of medicine if we were required to engage the services of a doctor whose father was our father’s doctor, whether we wanted to or not.
A republic is a form of government in which power is vested in regularly selected representatives with authority to act and decide public questions. It provides just enough participation by the people in governmental affairs and leads to orderly progress. It creates the kind of condition in the world of government that is created in the field of medicine when, in the event of our illness, we select a doctor whom we regard as qualified to treat our ailment.
A democracy is a form of government in which the people speak and act directly on public questions. It permits too much participation by the people and finally results in chaos. It creates the kind of condition in the world of government that would be created in the field of medicine if, in the event of our illness, we were to submit to a popular vote what medicine we should take and then take it regardless of the consequences.
A republic does not bring perfect condition, but it is the best form that human agency can devise. It is the golden mean between the extremes of autocracy and democracy.
The authors of the Constitution seemed to understand clearly the meaning and importance of the law of the “golden mean” and applied it effectively to the science of government. It is the middle point or degree in any quality, state, or activity, which avoids the dangers or errors of either extreme by the striking of a well-balanced medium.
In the study of any science or of any problem we can learn much by observing the laws of nature. Too little food means starvation; the proper amount of food makes for health; too much food means gluttony. Again, too little seed means meager crops; just enough seed means the best possible crops; too much seed means crops sickly from over-crowding. The application of the principle can be clearly seen by stating it graphically as follows:
EXTREME GOLDEN MEAN EXTREME
Starvation Nourishment Gluttony
Drought Moisture Flood
It is plain that not much is accomplished by discussing the value of either extreme, unless, indeed, it be to emphasize the great value of the mean. There is no sphere of activity in which the extremes are more disastrous or the mean more beneficial than in the realm of government. Some illustrations of the results are as follows:
EXTREME GOLDEN MEAN EXTREME
Autocracy Republic Democracy
Autocrats Statesmen Demagogues
Bondage Liberty License
Tyranny Justice Anarchy
Reaction Progress Chaos
The Constitution was written in a convention by selected representatives, and there is convincing evidence running all through the Constitution that the men who wrote it intended to provide for strictly representative government in the nation and in the States, as proved by the following significant provisions:
1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.
2. The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States.
3. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in One Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a republican (representative) form of government.
5. The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same.
6. The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments… when ratified by the legislature of three-fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof.
Thus we see that nowhere in the Constitution is there any suggestion of government through direct action, which is democracy. The Constitution provides for vesting the legislative, executive, and judicial powers in representatives. It guarantees a representative form of government to every State in the Union and provides for its ratification and amendment through representatives.
The form of government established by the Constitution is discussed in the Federalist, Numbers 10, 14, and 39, all written by James Madison. In the Federalist, Number 10, he said:
Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths… A republic, by which we I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.
In the Federalist, Number 14, he wrote:
The adversaries of the new Constitution are availing themselves of the prevailing prejudice with regard to the practicable sphere of republican administration, in order to supply, by imaginary difficulties, the want of those solid objections, which they endeavor in vain to find… It seems to owe its rise and prevalence chiefly to the confounding of a republic with a democracy, applying to the former reasoning drawn from the nature of the latter. The true distinction between these forms was also adverted to on a former occasion. It is, that in a democracy the people exercise the government in person; in a republic they administer it by their representatives… Under the confusion of names, it has been an easy task to transfer to republic observations applicable to a democracy only.
In the Federalist, Number 39; he went on to say:
If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define republic to be … a government which … is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.
In the first session of Congress, in 1789, when proposed amendments were being discussed, Representative Tucker of South Carolina proposed that Congress offer to the States for consideration an amendment “giving the people the right to instruct their representatives.”
In opposing the proposed amendment, Representative Hartley of Pennsylvania said:
Representation is the principle of our government; the people ought to have confidence in the honor and integrity of those they send forward to transact their business; their right to instruct them is a problematical subject. We have seen it attended with bad consequences both in England and America… I have known within my own time so many inconveniences and real evils arise from adopting the popular opinions of the moment, that … I hope this government will particularly guard against them, at least that they will not bind themselves by a constitutional act, and by oath, to submit to their influence; if they do, the great object which this government has been established to attain will inevitably elude our grasp on the uncertain and veering winds of popular emotion.
Representative Clymer, also of Pennsylvania, said:
Do gentlemen foresee the extent of these words? If they have a constitutional right to instruct us, it infers that we are bound by those instructions… This is a most dangerous principle, utterly destructive of all the ideas of an independent and deliberative body, which are essential requisites in the legislatures of free governments…
It is the duty of a good representative to inquire what measures are most likely to promote the general welfare, and, after he has discovered them, to give them support. Should his instructions, therefore, coincide with his ideas on any measure, they would be unnecessary; if they were contrary to the conviction of his own mind, he must be bound by every principle of justice to disregard them.
Representative James Madison, who was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and later served two terms as Secretary of State and as President of the United States, said:
Suppose they instruct a representative, by his vote, to violate the Constitution; is he at liberty to obey such instructions? Suppose he is instructed to patronize certain measures, and from circumstances known to him, bit not to his constituents, he is convinced that they will endanger the public good, is he obliged to sacrifice his own judgment to them?
The proposed amendment was not submitted, a fact which indicates that Congress at that time understood clearly the importance of adhering to representative government, as provided in the Constitution and emphasized in The Federalist.
For more than a century not only the nation at large but the States also adhered closely to the convention plan of naming candidates for office, and entrusted the making, interpreting, and enforcing of the laws to the chosen representatives. Under the representative plan of procedure we made progress unparalleled in the history of government.
Toward the latter part of the nineteenth century agitation became insistent for direct primaries, the initiative, the referendum, and the recall, and many of the States have enacted legislation providing for these methods of direct action.
Direct primaries are a substitute for the delegate convention plan of nominating candidates for public office, providing for their nomination by a direct vote of the people.
The initiative is a system whereby a given number of voters may, on petition, propose a law and require the legislature to submit it to a popular vote.
The referendum is a system, which requires the reference of an act passed by the legislature to the voters for approval or rejection.
The States have gradually adopted the custom of submitting proposed State constitutions to a referendum of the people for ratification. It will be generally conceded, however, that no State has adopted a constitution so well adapted to State government as the Federal Constitution was adapted to the national government.
The recall is a system for submitting to the voters the question whether or not a public official, regularly elected for a definite term, shall be removed before the term expires, without the opportunity of a trial based on the rules of evidence.
These innovations were inspired because of charges that conventions were not naming good candidates, that the legislative bodies were enacting undesirable laws, and that public officials were frequently untrustworthy.
Unfortunately, there was much justification for these contentions, but it is extremely doubtful if the introduction of the direct action of democracy is the proper remedy, as evils resulting from the change seem greater than those, which it sought to rectify. The real remedy it would seem is to continue the plan of representative government provided by the Constitution, and to exercise greater vigilance and discretion in the selection of delegates to attend conventions for nominating candidates for executive and legislative positions.
Perhaps the point can be made clearer by way of analogy if we apply the principle of he direct action of democracy to the game of baseball. If in the game of baseball umpires were chosen by virtue of their fathers’ having been umpires, it can readily be seen that through autocracy baseball would degenerate just as hereditary government always has.
We play baseball as a republic, based on strictly representative government. The selection of the players and the umpire is generally left to those who are interested in baseball and understand the game. Players are selected because of their ability to play. The umpire is selected for his knowledge of the rules and his moral courage to make decisions in accordance with them, regardless of public clamor of the moment in the bleachers. Under these conditions, baseball as played is a wonderful game, and we have excellent players and efficient umpires, and enormous crowds are handled with little disorder.
Suppose that the method of conducting baseball should be changed and provisions were made for selecting members of the teams through direct primaries by a vote of the people in attendance at the game, or for referring the rulings of the umpire to the bleachers for decision by referendum, or for circulating a petition for the initiative to change rules of the game, or to recall the umpire or some players, it can readily be seen that chaotic conditions would result.
If the selection of the members of debating teams and football and baseball teams were left to a vote of the student body in high schools and colleges, it is not likely that championship teams would assembled.
Apply the principle of the direct action of democracy to the fields of engineering, surgery, and other activities and consider the inevitable results. Such contemplation will help us to appreciate the wisdom of the authors of the Constitution in understanding that in the plan of things great responsibility was placed upon the wise exercise of the law of selection, which is the essence of a republic.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Remember the Dollarhites? The little family that had the little rabbit farm that the USDA fined all over? Well, USDA spokesman David Sachs offered a settlement on behalf of the USDA for a $90,000 penalty fee; and the prohibition of breeding of any kind of animals on their current property (even if sold to somebody else) or in their name. Some backstory from Bungalow Bill:
The USDA was inspecting the petting zoo at Silver Dollar City when it came across invoices from the small bunny farm in Nixa, Dollarvalue Rabbitry. These invoices brought the feds to the front door steps of the Dollarhite’s in the fall of 2009. They immediately complied allowing the federal government agent to inspect their cages and didn’t see the need to worry. Things would soon turn for the worse. After being taken to the back where the rabbits were raised, the USDA began running the width of her finger across the cage and told the Dollarhites they would need to replace the cage because it was a quarter inch too small and didn’t meet federal regulations. The Dollarhites had just invested in new cages to ensure the bunnies had a healthy amount of space to develop. Cages stated to be for “large breed rabbits”, yet they were raising dwarf breed varieties, which require even less space. The USDA agent also noted a small rust spot on a feeder, citing that it wasn’t in compliance. They responded noting the rabbits urine cause cages to rust and they work hard to keep the rabbits cages in top shape. It didn’t matter, the USDA agent cited the less than an inch area of the cage as an infraction. The Dollarhites didn’t hear from the USDA again until January 2010. At that time an USDA Animal and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) began investigating pet shops in town. The agent arrived at the Petland store in Springfied, which doesn’t fall under USDA jurisdiction according to the manager, and began demanding seeing records for the Dollarhites rabbits. The manager called the Dollarhites stating a USDA investigator had come into his store demanding to see any records regarding Dolllarvalue Rabbitry. After consulting with their corporate attorney, the store manager complied.So, what did they do? They rejected it! This via the Christian County Headliner:
“What it boils down to is this. Their offer to us, and we agreed, if we didn’t have any rabbits or any guinea pigs, they would verify that and drop (the issue) without a penalty,” she said. “They came out and we videotaped it. That was supposed to be the end of it. “We received another letter that we would never own any breeding animals.” Judy Dollarhite interprets the settlement agreement to not only prohibiting them from ever owning or having an interest in owning any kind of breeding animal, including cattle, but to any kind of breeding animals being on the premises—even if they sold the property. “We couldn’t run cattle or anything ever; nor could anybody on our premises,” she said. “Even if we wanted to fatten a beef.” That, she says, is “ridiculous.”
USDA spokesman Sacks responds with:
“Mr. Dollarhite did not accept the agency’s revised settlement proposal,” Sacks said in an email statement. “The Dollarhite case remains under agency review as we evaluate our options for resolving the matter. We typically refer cases to our Office of General Counsel for litigation when we cannot resolve a case through a settlement agreement, but there has been no formal USDA decision at this time in terms of our next course of action.”
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
An Article from News Max.com about the Camdenton School District
An American Civil Liberties chapter has filed a lawsuit against a Missouri school district demanding that it allow K-12 students to access LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-
The superintendent of the Camdenton, Mo., district, Tim Hadfield, acknowledges that his school computers use filtering software called URL Blacklist that does block out LGBT sites, among others.
The ACLU of Eastern Missouri sent the district a letter in May warning the school not to use the site blocker’s sexuality filter, and filed suit on Aug. 15.
But Hadfield said the district can’t comply because allowing access could expose students to pornography.
“We were very wary of making a change based on some of the content that would get through that filter that could be sexually explicit and then violate other laws that would jeopardize the district,” Hadfield told CNSNews.
“There’s an act called the Children’s Internet Protection Act that we also must follow, and by turning one of our filters off, there was a concern that we could have possible violations of that act.”
The act, signed into law in 2003, requires that as a condition for receiving federal funding, schools and libraries must use Internet filters to protect children through the 12th grade from harmful online content.
The ACLU maintains in its suit that the school district must either disable the sexuality filter or acquire other filtering software that is “content neutral” and does not discriminate against websites “based on their viewpoint,” according to Joshua Block, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT Project.
But the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a conservative religious legal group, is supporting the Missouri district and several others threatened with similar ACLU legal action.ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman told CNSNews: “School districts not only have a right, but also an obligation, to protect our children from pornography, and they certainly shouldn’t cave in to the ACLU’s demands that they allow this inappropriate access.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
There are some things going around the ol' Net about a bit of Missouri state-level legislature nicknamed the "Aerotropolis" bill. Governor Jay Nixon is calling it the bill the "Missouri Bills Act". What exactly does it do? Per a letter from Campaign for Liberty (which said the bill is not finished yet):
300 million dollars in transferable tax credits to a small group of developers in St Louis who are to build warehouse space around Lambert airport. (These tax credits ARE NOT simple tax cuts – they are as good as cash subsidies.) The money is to be doled out by the mayor of St. Louis and the St. Louis county executive. 60 million dollars in subsides to freight forwarders, ostensibly to encourage Missouri exports. Takes away 50 to 100 million dollars per year in tax credits for low-income renters and elderly provided an equal amount be spent on senior citizen programs. State-funded venture capital programs for business startups. There are also promises to sunset or otherwise reduce existing tax credits over the next decade. Currently, the reported cuts are less than the new tax credits. The promise of these “cuts” is deceiving, much like the baseline budget cuts of the federal debt ceiling increase. There is surely a lot more in the bill. Last I heard it had ballooned to several hundred pages and the head of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce says it has “Something for everyone.” so he is optimistic it will pass.
Essentially, those bullet-points sum up to a subsidy for contractors to beef up the Lambert Airport in St. Louis to accept imports and funnel exports. Another set of subsidies goes to freight forwarders to encourage activity between us and other international traders.
Now, believe it or not; I attempted to keep a level head while reading this letter, then reading about this all over the interwebz (crazy, right?!). The letter screams about this making it even easier to "benefit communist-owned Chinese Airlines and manufacturing companies more than Missouri workers."!!! I know! Crazy insane (though there are legitimate connections that make this claim more valid, especially since there was direct communication between Chinese and St. Louis civic leaders)! Pure logistics speak in our relation to this issue. If we made the best products in the world, there would be less outcry as it would make exporting goods so much easier. Let's spell out the reasons that the letter from Campaign for Liberty states in favor of opposition to this bill:
First and foremost, it is against economic freedom. Government should not choose the winners and losers in Missouri. Subsidies to one person or business always takes away opportunity from others. This sort of special subsidy violates several constitutional principles and specific clauses forbidding the enactment of “special laws” which target only certain entities or locales. It also violates a Missouri constitutional prohibition of grants of public money to private parties. This is Soviet-style central planning rather than free markets. That economic model was tried and failed miserably in Russia and Germany. Closer to home, there is an airport on the east side of St Louis built just for this purpose; international air cargo. After over 300 million taxpayers dollars and more than 12 years, that airport has one flight per week of cargo and 0 passenger flights. Watch this 2 minute story about the MidAmerica airport located just 40 miles from the proposed China Hub. (MSNBC) This bill allows special interests to subvert the purpose of government. As long as we continue to allow government to redistribute wealth and provide special favors--all on the backs of the people--those special interests will control the legislative process, and do so with money they get from taxpayers! Legislators bought by the special interests will not have your interest at heart--that results in liberty-stealing laws of all sorts. This bill will result in unforeseen consequences. St Louis already has an abundance of empty warehouse space for rent. Now our government thinks the solution is to build more and subsidize it with your tax dollars? Because this project is not market driven, it will result in misallocation of resources. The subsidies will also harm other employers, who must compete for available labor and capital--that ultimately hurts even the average worker.
The first reason is completely valid. I have seen it happen all over Branson (PDF link).
The second point is a valid point, but taxpayer funded state grants have been issued to businesses and enthusiastic starters for a long time. Nothing new here, and to complain about this is also complaining about that. The only difference here is the numbers; where as these small grants end in the hundred-thousand range, this subsidy to forwarders is $60 million; doled out to more than one business I'm sure. The only thing that makes it seem gross is the big number.
The third point has a grain of truth to it; but Lambert being a piece of public property, it falls in the government's jurisdiction and maintenance. It was presented with a bit too much sensationalism for my taste. If the third point began with something like "This is a classic example of wasteful spending, because there has already been a facility built for this purpose...", then it would be completely valid.
The fourth point is one-hundred percent valid for the very reasons the paragraph states.
The fifth point, completely valid.
Op-Ed time: The way to make trading work better in our favor is not through publicly funded subsidies. The government's only (and I mean only) role in making our products more appealing to the international market is improvement of the transportation network within the country. That's it! Well, okay; that and providing guidelines for safe food growth, production, distribution; etc. Unsafe food could kill you. Let the market decide which products and product designs are the greatest and have them vote with their currency! One convenient aspect of publicly funded subsidization is the fact that the entity that doles it (the government in our case) has no interest in efficiency and aligning with what the market wants. They just do their own thing. This is wasteful and must be stopped. Also, as previously stated in the article, it counters the market forces by choosing the winners.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
It’s warming up outside. It’s mid July now, Tour De France time, and Lance Armstrong is back in the news. After a four-year absence from cycling, the cancer-survivor and seven-time Tour winner finished in an amazing third place last year. Almost all of those he rode with—and against were long gone from the sport. He got so close last year, and was coming back to claim an eighth win this year. On the first day, he had a stellar fourth place in the opening time trial, and for days raced near enough to the front that he could rely on his skills to improve later. Yesterday his bike racing fortunes changed. The flat tires and crashes he miraculously always seemed to avoid in the past, pretty much dashed his Tour hopes, as he was involved in three crashes and a flat tire, putting him far out of contention. He’s on the verge of retirement from the sport.
But ten years ago, he was in his prime, about to win his second Tour De France. He’d transformed American cycling, as we who rode bikes regularly watched scores ride and race bikes because of him. Just before the Tour that year, I had a meeting that introduced me to another world.
It was a hot, Sunday mid-afternoon in June. And now I was Westbound on Tower following this guy on the Marco Pantani bike. He wore a Euro-looking lycra outfit; not Mercatone Uno, but colorful and obscure nonetheless. I wanted to check out his bike. Then I thought, ‘He’s probably some Euro-bike snob,’ Would he even talk to me? That bastard! Who does he think he is? So haughty! I’ll smoke his ass. I accelerated, and after maybe half a mile, and a few more hard pedal strokes, I was riding next to him going 24 or 25 miles per hour.
“Isn’t that a Marco Pantani bike?” I yelled over the wind, trying not to sound defensive. “Yeah. Hey, that’s a Lance Armstrong bike!” he exclaimed in return. “Let’s stop up ahead.” We pulled off the road onto the sidewalk after the next intersection. “Nice bike!” He said. “My name’s Clay.” None of the bike snobs I’d met, and I’d met plenty, ever had a name like “Clay.” What kind of name was that? He had a little, just the slightest twang to his words. He drew out the syllables just the slightest to tell me he may not be from the northern suburbs where we were riding.
We stood there in the hot sun on Tower Road in Winnetka and talked about bikes for probably 15-20 minutes. It felt good to get out, to be moving, to be on my bike, and to talk to someone who turned out to not be snobbish at all, but pretty much a regular guy from Missouri who loved bikes and riding.
It felt good to be out of the house. I’d spend my last few weekends sitting inside watching TV, despite the gorgeous late spring weather, not doing what I loved, which is being outside riding my bike, my new bike. What was the point of having it? It became easy to stay inside, alone, and watch sports replays, despite the amazingly brilliant sunlight shining on the newly painted bright aqua and yellow walls of my new place. Much too easy to be lazy— and lonely, thinking of my ex-girlfriend, who’d come back into my life merely to push me away and torment me—yet again. “Tawwwm…” I’d hear that UK accent and just melt. But I wasn’t “spiritual” enough for her. She had a “deep con-neeec-tion” with the dolphins she’d ridden, and the Shamans and Native American chiefs she visited. She had, I think, every new age book ever written on her shelves. And she’d regularly gone to Native American sweat lodges. Despite my being native to America, I wasn’t con-neec-ted enough to come along to sweat lodges.
So challenging to overcome inertia. Easy to stay in the routine of going to work, coming home and watching TV, getting to the weekend and repeating, sometimes actually looking forward to my job at a gym again on Monday, when I’d see my friends. That routine got so boring. Yet there had been at least two weekends of beautiful weather, where I watched the sunlight—and the day slip away, as nighttime started to fall without my ever leaving the apartment. I just had to put forth the effort to do something different. I didn’t really feel like getting up off the couch, but if I didn’t do it soon, I was about to squander yet another weekend without doing anything different, anything new, anything creative, any contact with anyone other than that girl, if she decided to call. It was June 21, the first day of summer. I wasn’t calling her. I was going riding.
Just start, the rest is easy. I roll the bike by the door. Pull the water bottles from the cages. Always sniff before filling. Yikes. Scrub very thoroughly and fill. Pump deflated tires. Slip on bike shorts. Reach for a jersey. Which one? (Pathetic! Just like a woman! Grab one dammit!), slip into the cleated shoes. (Such a f’ing ordeal. If you make it one. Just go)! Not bad, it’s only about 12:30, and I have the day ahead of me. I open the door holding my bike, and step into the light.
I roll out easily at 18-20 mph, and then pick up the pace to 21-22-23. (Oh, pushing the pedals hard is hurting my legs, after sitting on my ass all morning!) Now I’m asking something of these legs. But what? There’s no plan today, other than just breathing deeply and feeling good. Yet feeling good is it’s own reward. Just starting, making a shift and taking action is it’s own reward.
I headed north from the city up Green Bay Road, up toward Winnetka, where I saw the rider with the Euro Jersey and the Pantani bike crossing Tower and accelerated…
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
This year, the first day of summer, June 21 fell on a Monday. On my way to work, I saw a text. It was from Clay.
“It was ten years ago today you chased me down off green bay road.”
-June 21, 2010, 6:39 am.
Oh, yeah. that day was the first day of summer, like today. And it was 2000. In that span, we rode across Iowa six times. He was the ringleader who put it all together. He instigated training rides to prepare for RAGBRAI and after it each year. Clay literally got me back into cycling. And back into connecting with other people, and life.
Ironically, that first year, I really didn’t want to go. Even after we started rolling westward in a huge Suburban, my bike locked down in the trailer behind, I thought, “What did I get myself into?” Here was Clay, the high school classmate of Senator Roy Blunt’s son, and as far from my liberal stance as anyone I’d ever met. And Mike, this cracker guy from Ohio. And Todd, who’s Dad owned a sex club. And our driver, Andy, this pencil-thin, lily-white guy who barely spoke. All of them except Clay seemed like alcoholics. I was the health freak who didn’t even drink.
With sometimes 20,000 riders on the road at RAGBRAI, and often no cell-phone connections out there in those Iowa cornfields, it’s not difficult to get separated from your group. But you get found. After the first day, Mike, Todd, Clay and I were beaming with stories of blue skies and smooth sailing propelled by tailwinds on fresh black tarmac—and hot girls in black lycra. So that night our driver, twiggy Andy, who hadn’t been on a bike in 15 years, decided he wanted to ride the next day. So we took him to Wal-Mart and bought him their cheapest mountain bike. Then, I lent him a pair of my bike shorts, the ones that were so tight on my legs they hurt. They nearly fell off Andy. He chose his best oversized black T-shirt, with a huge green Herman Munster head in the center. It looked like one of those massive paper mache heads in Carnival, this one Herman Munster’s, supported by two toothpicks sticking out of a pair of baggy bike shorts. This all-black, heat-attracting outfit contrasted quite nicely with his thin white arms and legs. We all admired his ambition. Unfortunately while day 2 was not the longest day of 105 miles, which came later in the week, it was the hardest 73 miles you could imagine. All day we felt nearly 100-degree heat, quad-burning vertical hills, knock-you-down headwinds, and sweltering humidity. Everyone would suffer that day.
As we rolled out on our carbon-fiber or aluminum steeds, Andy rolled out right alongside us his steel Wal-Mart bike. After we hit the first bend going 25 or 26, we looked back, and didn’t see him all day. Later in the day, someone told us they saw a guy with a Herman Munster head at a rest stop, so we knew he was making forward progress. But long after we’d been in, eaten and showered, and the sun went down with no Andy at the truck, we were mostly all concerned.
It had been an exhausting day in the saddle for everyone. Earlier, I was drenched in sweat, my dehydrated quads burning on the skin from the hot sun, the muscles inside burning from the lactic acid with the intense hills. I climbed the hills alongside a rider from an Italian team, communicating in gestures and my broken Italian as we rolled together for mile after mile, and passed more and more people on the way up the longest, steepest climb of the day. Right at the crest, we simultaneously grimaced and yelled out; I felt my vastus medialis, the inner, tear-drop shaped part of the thigh muscle lock into a cramp. His did too. We both stopped to recoup at the top, while a long line of those we’d just passed somehow soldiered on ahead. We’d pass them again soon enough. Brilliantly, there was a water and Gatorade station at the top. I bought, and he said, still grimacing, “I crampi! Vastu mediale!” I know, dude! Si! Nice to know the Iowan hills could bring pain to a guy who rides in the Italian Alps too.
Clay said that even Todd, the perennial State Champ and our fastest guy, reluctantly admitted he’d stopped to rest and fell asleep under a tree that day. Later, when everyone else was in, we drove the Suburban around the destination town hunting for Andy. We were ready to back track and drive to each town to the last town he’d been seen. We’d ridden our bikes into the finish town hours and hours before. Eventually we found him in a bar, his dry, lobster-red pipe-cleaner arms and legs sticking out of his black and green Herman Munster outfit, dehydrated, delirious, drunk. And grinning ear-to-ear. He rode all 73 intense miles. It seems Andy, too needed to change his life.
Every night there is a huge party in the end town. But the real party, where the fast people go, is often in the town about 15-20 miles before. So while everyone else is grateful to squeek into the final town, Todd and the boys find the party with the naked beer slides, camp out there and drink in the hot sun till it starts to set. Then after hours of umpteen beers from the keg and shot-gunned cans of beer, it’s time to rally the troops and get back on the road. Then, with all those beers in them, they’ll start out with a 30 mile-per-hour sprint into the sunset toward the campsite. After sitting or standing around for hours, my legs burn and I grimace as I hang on the pace, while these alcohol-fueled guys take off grinning and yelling, “Yeah, Baby!” Maybe it buffers their pain. Crazy.
Soon enough, we could count on a nice hot shower, where most people got ice cold water out of hoses. That’s because Mike, who turned out to be an amazing engineer, rigged up a series of hoses and pipes from our truck’s engine, which, along with the sun during the day, heated the water. Everywhere we went, bike nerds, engineering geeks, men with tape on their glasses and grimy jerseys swarmed over Mike’s creation and worshipped him. He was in his glory.
It worked. It was just what I needed. As the week wore on, I remember feeling such a connection with these guys (and the gals we’d meet) as we did what we loved, being in the moment, bonding on cycling and our friendship, than I ever did with the spiritual girlfriend. I may not have been suitable for her sweat lodge, but I did more sweating that week in that heat than she could do in a lifetime of sweat lodges, as I purged pounds of negative energies. I’ve never felt connected with, or even ridden a dolphin, but I’ve ridden thousands of miles under my own propulsion, and felt a great connection; with humans. Maybe the problem wasn’t her confusion, but my needing to get out and find myself. Nature abhors a vacuum. I came out of the darkness and into the sunlight.
I got over that girl and met a more compatible woman, and got in a healthier, long-term relationship. Clay went through 4 or 5 women and plenty of torment. I introduced him to the law of attraction, that concept of putting attention on what you want; not what you don’t want. Put out confusion, you get confusion. Put out clarity, you get that. He’s now back in Missouri, married to his long-lost army sweetheart with two instant kids. We’ve kept up.
Each summer this has become something to look forward to, this ride across Iowa. The years I didn’t go with them, I was thinking about going.
Amazing how a meeting can change your life. Amazing how by being open to who comes into your life, you can head in a whole new direction, and enrich your life.
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